Dungeon World: Our Heroes!

Our Heroes - Ram, Rahi, Merit, and Kanta. Art by Claudia Cangini.
Our Heroes. Front: Ram the Holy Killer; behind him, from left to right: Rahi the Relic Bearer, Merit the Trickster, and Kanta the Mage. Art by Claudia Cangini, 2016.

We’ve been playing Dungeon World for over a year now, in Edmund’s own setting inspired by Southern Asia, “The Land of Ten Thousand Gods.” We’re nearing the epic conclusion of a big story arc so as a holiday present to the whole group, I commissioned a portrait of our four characters from the amazing Claudia Cangini. Tonight I unveiled it for the group and people sounded very happy — I know I am!

For those who, like me, enjoy seeing how a piece of art comes together, I will post the various steps of Claudia’s work. All images are in the slideshow at the bottom.

I sent Claudia three pages of specs containing each character’s description and some context info, and a collection of reference images for each character, plus a like a link to our game’s Pinterest collection. She soon sent me a concept sketch for approval, which made me squee! I asked for one correction; Merit was shown wielding a dagger, but she should be using throwing knives.

Then Claudia sent me the pencil version, showing the correction and a background. Squee again! (Note that this this is a fantasy setting so the various elements of the picture are sourced from different cultures within that vast area.) I had no changes to request so she moved on to the ink work. Now we see a lot of exquisite fine detail that make the image come alive!

Finally, we got to the colour image, with textures. The version below looked fantastic, but I requested two changes. First I wanted the book writing in the background to be ancient sanskrit (right now I can’t recall which script we opted for, need to find that photo.) Second, I wanted to have tattoo tracery on Rahi, though not as flashy as Merit’s tattoos, which are magical. Claudia graciously and quickly made the changes, producing the image at the top of this post. I’ve been waiting to show it to everyone! (You can show it too, now, Claudia! Thank you so much for the beautiful picture.)

In conclusion: custom art makes a great and surprisingly affordable present, and helps our artists too. Consider it for your Christmas list…

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